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Farm Life & Philosophy

Regenerative Farming

Going Beyond Sustainability

Regenerative Farming consists of an integrated approach to farming involving Livestock, No-Till farming and Cover crops. It goes beyond sustainability in that the soil becomes more enriched with each crop, rather than just sustaining it.

Our Cattle

We ensure a great-tasting, consistently tender, safe to eat product, raising our cattle on our farm. They are fed a diet of grass/hay and local corn from the time they are able to digest these plants. In the summer the cattle are outside on pasture (grasses) supplemented with corn. In the winter they are housed inside in large clean pens to protect them from the elements and fed a diet of hay (dried grasses) supplemented by corn.

By supplementing with corn we do not get the change in taste/texture of the meat that happens when diets are changed from fresh grasses to dried hay and vice versa.

Our Cattle

No-Till Farming

When using No-till farming techniques, the residue from the previous crop is left untouched on the surface to protect the surface from wind and water erosion. When planting the next crop a No-Till drill cuts a slot in the soil right through the previous crop, places the seed in the slot and then closes the slot so that the seed will germinate.

By leaving the crop residues on the surface, this helps retain moisture for the crop while limiting the evaporative effect of wind and heat by keeping the soil protected and cool.

On average, No-Till farming decreases soil erosion by 90%, reduces pathogen loads by 60%, reduces nutrient and pesticide loads to our streams, rivers and lakes by 50%. It also reduces diesel use by up to 70%, which cuts emissions by a like amount.

Cover Crops

We make extensive use of cover crops on our farm. Top growth from the cover crops protects the soil surface while the roots bind and stabilize the soil particles. Cover crops also build organic matter but the amount varies depending on the species grown and the conditions under which they are grown.

Legume cover crops take nitrogen from the air and store it in their root system. Anywhere from 50-150lbs of nitrogen can be stored in this way where it is available for the following crop to use. Every pound of nutrients that do not have to purchase is better for the environment and is also better for our bank account!

The Right Cover Crop

Cover crops are terminated either by frost action, by mechanical action or by chemical action. When this happens, the nutrients held in the plant tissues are returned to the soil and are used by the following crop. However, different cover crops release the nutrients they captured at different times of the year. Therefore it is important to choose the right cover crop to get the most benefit for the following crop. Also, some deep-rooted cover crops can bring nutrients from deep in the soil profile, making them available to the next crop.

Added Benefits

Cover crops can also provide habitat for bees and beneficial organisms. Predatory mites, ladybug beetles and other helpful insects benefit from the protection that a cover crop provides.